God Wants You to Work
You were made to work, so shouldn’t you make your work matter?
God wants you to work. If you don’t have some kind of work to do, something is wrong.
If you’ve been successful in life, you undoubtedly understand the value of hard work. Unfortunately, there are people out there who never learned the lesson of working hard, and they rely on others to provide for their needs. But that’s not the way God intended them to live.
Every kind of work you can do will help somebody else, even if it’s in a small way.
Work is one of the principle things that we’re called to do in life. All work is God’s work, because every kind of work you can do will help somebody else, even if it’s in a small way. Today’s lesson is on a similar theme — we are all called to work because the Kingdom of God and society as a whole benefit the most when everyone contributes something.
God Wants You to Work to Stay Out of Trouble
The basis for this lesson comes from a passage in II Thes. 3:6-13, where Paul addresses the problem of idleness in the church. This passage is a bit lengthy, but it’s worth reading from top to bottom:
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Several things are worth note here. First of all, notice how Paul and his helpers set an example for the church at Thessaloniki. Although they had rights, as ministers of the gospel, to receive financial support for their full-time ministry, they ignored that right and “worked day and night” to provide for themselves. They did this in order to demonstrate the way that God wants His people to live — working, contributing to society and supporting themselves with their own money.
Secondly, notice the standard that Paul set for the church: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” This is a high standard to go along with the high calling on our lives. Simply put, there is no excuse for believers to be lazy. God expects us to work and contribute to society. If we’re not willing to do that, we don’t deserve to share in the fruit of other people’s work.
If you don’t have something to do in life, you’re likely to fill your time with in destructive activities.
Finally, notice that the the lack of work leads to bad habits. Paul mentions that “some among you are idle and disruptive.” If you don’t have something to do in life, you’re likely to fill your time with in destructive activities. Idleness leads to temptation.
The Underlying Truth of Work
There are all kinds of circumstances in today’s life that affect the kind of work that we do, but this underlying principle is true: God wants you to work at something. Finding a meaningful way to contribute to society — whether you get paid for it or not — is a key part of serving God during our time on earth.